32-year-old Jessica Cornell Smith is a married mom living in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Chester County is exceptionally upscale, and it ranks as one of the wealthiest zip codes in the Philadelphia area.
This picturesque part of Pennsylvania was just rocked by what Jessica did, and you’re going to need to sit down to read this.
She created a GoFundMe page and a Facebook fundraiser #FightLikeAJessica, claiming that she had a very rare form of cancer called Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC).
She was able to get people to give her over $10,000 in online donations to help cover the costs of her treatment.
GoFundMe; pictured above Jessica smiles while she pretends to have cancer
Jessica’s own friends quickly figured out this mom was an online predator who completely took advantage of donors on GoFundMe, and it was Jessica’s own husband who ended up turning her in to authorities.
Speaking to NBC10, Jessica’s high school friend Terri Coleman said, “She was very vague about her diagnosis and treatment and really suggestive photos, like a selfie on the bathroom floor, ‘about to give up on life but also please donate to my GoFundMe.”
Jessica’s husband ended up going to the police and really gave them what they needed to finalize their charges against her.
Her husband said that he was very concerned because he had absolutely no insurance or medical records to show that Jessica was treated for the cancer she claimed to have. Jessica was under her insurance plan, so he would have had evidence of everything.
Facebook; Jessica posted several photos, above, on Facebook claiming to have cancer
He ultimately told the police that he was pretty sure his wife was committing fraud.
To top it all off, he told them he heard Jessica make a phone call to her employer pretending to be a Penn Medicine nurse (the hospital she claimed to be treated at) saying she needed to take time off to recover from her cancer treatment.
Jessica is currently out on bail and is now being charged with theft by deception and receiving stolen property. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 12th.
Chester County District Attorney’s Office; Jessica’s mugshot is pictured above
GoFundMe is working with authorities to make sure the money Jessica stole is being refunded to their donors. As for the money she stole from people on Facebook, it’s not yet clear if that money can be returned to people.
I cannot believe people like this exist, but they unfortunately do, and you have to be very careful about who you decide to donate money to online.
Bre is a female millennial go getter residing in New York. One part entrepreneur, one part geek, she obtained her degree in Textile/Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology.
She has held some exciting roles in both fashion as a designer working for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Henri Bendel, as well as in ad tech working for publishers like Ziff Davis.
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